SOURCE: Entertainment Merchants Association

May 23, 2006 09:17 ET

Entertainment Merchants Association Is Created by Merger of IEMA and VSDA

ENCINO, CA and WILTON, CT -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 23, 2006 -- Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA), a new trade association for the retailers of DVDs, computer video games, and console video games, was created today when the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA) and the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) finalized their merger. The announcement of the creation of EMA was made by VSDA Chairman Bob Geistman and IEMA Chairman Rick Vergara.

The term "Merchants" in the name of the Association signifies that it will represent all businesses that sell or trade in entertainment. EMA unites mass merchants, video specialty stores, video game specialty retailers, online merchants, electronics retailers, entertainment combo stores, and others that retail, distribute, and supply DVDs, console video games, and computer video games. The trade association represents more than 1,000 companies throughout the United States, Canada, and other nations. Its members operate more than 20,000 retail outlets in the U.S. that sell and/or rent DVDs and computer and console video games. Combined sales and rentals of home video and video game software in 2005 totaled $32 billion.

EMA will provide its members with knowledge-sharing forums, networking opportunities, legislative and legal advocacy, research services, and other trade association offerings.

"The Entertainment Merchants Association brings together the leaders in home video and video game retailing and distribution," noted Geistman. "By leveraging the strengths of each sector, we will have a trade association that is more efficient, more effective, and more influential than either IEMA or VSDA would have been had they continued as separate organizations."

"The merger of these two organizations makes eminently good sense," said Vergara. "Home video retailers and video game retailers deal with identical media, have similar operational concerns, and face the same public policy issues. Now we have a common trade association that will allow us to tackle our common opportunities and challenges."

Geistman and Vergara also announced that Bo Andersen, President of VSDA, would be President of EMA, and that Hal Halpin, Founder and President of IEMA, and Crest Group LLC, which managed IEMA, will advise and assist EMA during its launch.

EMA is headquartered in Encino, CA. Its website is www.entertainmentmerchantsassociation.org

For more information on the merger and the histories of IEMA and VSDA, please see http://www.idealink.org/Resource.phx/public/press/vsda/may06/may23-06.htx

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